School of Physics and Astrophysics

Postgraduate research profiles


Nitin Nand

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 3443


Start date

Apr 2009

Submission date

Apr 2013

Nitin Nand


Application of frequency standards and metrology to novel innovations: Development of a cryocooled sapphire oscillator and frequency synthesizer system for radio astronomy


The aim of my project is to develop a compact transportable commercial version of the state-of-the-art cryogenic sapphire oscillator (CSO) and adapt it for use as a reference oscillator for Very Long Baseline Interferometry radio astronomy with the potential to improve image quality derived from deep space observations, for example for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Success of the project will also be important for other precision metrology applications, such as deep space tracking, atomic clock technology, and high precision frequency metrology.

My involvement in the project is to implement all stages of the project, but primarily to apply to the CSO an ultralow vibration cryocooler. Then to test it against similar liquid helium cooled CSOs in the laboratory before sending to be tested on-site at one of the Australian SKA Project telescopes being constructed in Western Australia. The project also involves the construction and validation of electronic control systems and a digital frequency synthesizer (FS) to produce 10 MHz and 100 MHz output frequencies from the ultrastable 11.2 GHz signal of the cryocooled CSO. This will be done in partnership with Poseidon Scientific Instruments (PSI), Fremantle, WA.

Our CryoCSO-FS system shall eventually replace the H-Maser which is currently used as a time standard for VLBI.

Why my research is important


  • ARC
  • UWA
  • PSI
  • Curtin University


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Last updated:
Thursday, 17 April, 2014 9:11 AM